The teams have been announced for Friday evening’s Six Nations Grand Slam decider between Ireland Women and England Women which takes place at Donnybrook on Friday 17th March, kick off 20:00. 

Three Ulster players take part in this historic match with, Donegal’s finest, Larissa Muldoon starting at scrum half. Muldoon is joined in the squad by Cooke’s Ilse Van Staden as replacement loosehead and, Railway Union’s Nikki Caughey who starts as replacement out half/centre. Cooke’s Claire McLaughlin misses out due to ligament damage picked up against France. 

Muldoon is the only change to the team that beat Wales last time out, with Mary Healy dropping to the bench. Personally I’d always start with Muldoon, particularly with the more physical matches (which this is sure to be), and bring Healy on when the teams start to tire. So I’d have to say this is pretty much my first choice Ireland side given the players available. However, they will all need to up their game if they are to come away with a win against a formidable English side. 

Marie Louise Reilly, Ireland Women, Grand Slam Decider

Marie Louise Reilly to control the line out on her 50th cap.

England have cruised through the championship to date clocking up 182 points to Ireland’s 74 and the World Champions start as clear favourites. Ireland however do have a significant chance. England are missing their talented out half Katie Mclean and a significant number of the Irish pack have worked over this English pack before.

The visitors danger players lie in their talented back line, and in the wonderful Emily Scarratt in particular. The clash between Scarret and Jenny Murphy is probably worth the entrance fee alone. However if Ireland can keep this as a tight forward tussle they have a better than even chance with Sophie Spence, Paula Fitzpatrick and Molloy still truly world class. 

Oh I’m really looking forward to this. 

The FRU Predicts. At the start of this series I had Ireland down to lose this one (as I did the last two games) and much as I’d like to put Ireland down for a win here I’m going to stick with England and hope that it’s as accurate as my last two! #COYGIG

IRELAND WOMEN   ENGLAND WOMEN
Kim Flood  15 Danielle Waterman
Hannah Tyrrell  14 Amy Wilson Hardy
Jenny Murphy 13  Emily Scarratt
Sene Naoupu 12  Amber Reed
Alison Miller 11  Kay Wilson
Nora Stapleton 10  Emily Scott
Larissa Muldoon La Toya Mason
Lindsay Peat Rochelle Clark
Leah Lyons Amy Cokayne
Ailis Egan Justine Lucas
Sophie Spence Tamara Taylor
Marie Louise Reilly Harriett Millar-Mills
Ciara Griffin Alex Matthews
Claire Molloy Marlie Packer
Paula Fitzpatrick Sarah Hunter
     
Ciara O’Connor 16  Vicky Fleetwood
Ilse van Staden 17  Vickii Cornborough
Ruth O’Reilly 18  Laura Keates
Ciara Cooney 19  Poppy Cleall
Nichola Fryday 20  Izzy Noel-Smith
Mary Healy 21  Bianca Blackburn
Nikki Caughey 22  Rachael Burford
Mairead Coyne 23  Lydia Thompson

#SUFTUM